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Topics Homepage> Homework should be banned

Homework should be banned

PRO (6 assertions)

Links to more PRO research:

Homework and Its Role in Constructive Pedagogy

The site contains research and statistics on both sides of the homework debate.

 

Define

Homework: a task set by teachers for students to complete outside of the time allotted for a normal school day.

Banned: Disallow homework in K-8 grades in the U.S. public schools

1. Assertion: Homework puts an unfair burden on teachers

Reasoning: Homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up much of teachers’ time. Add in correcting it  and the time it takes up in class going over it. Altogether, this leaves teachers tired and with little time to prepare more effective, inspiring lessons. Also, reversely, homework can function as a safety net for bad teachers in that they know that even if they do a poor job on their lessons and teaching during class they can always just pile on homework and hope that they can then use this as a sign that they are good teachers. A good teacher shouldn’t need to resort to homework to teach for them, which is why homework is unfair to the teachers who don’t need to assign it while the bad ones who do get credit for that from their employers.

Evidence: “Teachers in many of the nations that outperform the U.S. on student achievement tests--such as Japan, Denmark and the Czech Republic--tend to assign less homework than American teachers, but instructors in low-scoring countries like Greece, Thailand and Iran tend to pile it on,” Time Magazine, The Myth About Homework

2. Assertion: Homework demotivates students

Reasoning: Homework de-motivates kids to learn. Most see it as a consequence of going to school. Studies have shown that many children find doing homework very stressful, boring and tiring. Often teachers underestimate how long a task will take, or set an unrealistic deadline. Sometimes because a teacher has not explained something new well in class, the homework task is impossible. So children end up paying with their free time for the failings of their teachers. They also suffer punishments if work is done badly or late. After years of bad homework experiences, it is no wonder that many children come to dislike education and switch off, or drop out too early.

Evidence: "It's one thing to say we are wasting kids' time and straining parent-kid relationships, but what's unforgivable is if homework is damaging our kids' interest in learning, undermining their curiosity." The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn.

3. Assertion: Homework is discriminatory

Reasoning: Homework is discriminatory in that it gives unfair advantages to certain types of people depending on their home environment. In school everyone is equal, but home is a different story. Middle-class families with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than poorer families can. This can mean working class children end up with worse grades and more punishments for undone or badly done homework. On the other hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids’ homework for them – cheating. Even worse, kids who live in an abusive or volatile home environment (something completely out of the kids control) end up having their homework counting against them and compared to kids who benefit from doing work at home.

Evidence: Common sense; there are plenty of homes where education is not the #1 priority and some where it is. This imbalance only comes out with homework and skewers results unfairly.

4. Assertion: Homework eats up time that should be used doing other more productive things.

Reasoning: Homework takes up a lot of time, usually enough to push off many extracurricular a student might want to do. Being young is not just about doing schoolwork. It should also about being physically active, exploring the environment through play, doing creative things like music and art, and playing a part in the community. It is also important for young people to build bonds with others, especially family and friends, but homework often squeezes the time available for all these things.

Evidence: According to the American Educational Research Association released this statement: “Whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents.”

Alos, Curt Dudley-Marlin, a professor at Boston College, interviewed dozens of families and  found that, “the demands of homework disrupted…family relationships and led to stress and conflict.”


Assertions #5, 6

CON (0 assertions)

No framework